How many times have you asked yourself if you should bother going back to work after having your newborn baby? You contemplate and wonder, question and make lists and you try so desperately to figure out what to do, and then it hits you. Resignation during maternity leave, but does it make sense? Absolutely not.
It’s so hard to leave your little one in the hands of a complete stranger while you go slave away at a nine to five and have to pump your breast milk in a bathroom stall. All the while you feel in your heart that you are making the worst mistake of your life.
I know what it feels like to want to hold your baby tight but can’t. It’s not fun, but if you do return to work that emotional time will pass, you will get through it and you will be happy that you decided to return to work. Leaving work will not only put you finances in a tough spot, but your marriage as well. In the long run things will be okay but you have to prepare yourself for the situation that will arise.
The Unbarable Truth
This is what I know. If you do decide to leave work while out on your maternity leave, at least wait until the end. That way you get your pay for the entire three months. Have you thought about how hard it will be financially? Devastatingly horrid.
Why do I say this? Because right now my life is upside down. Financially, emotionally, mentally, and everything else in between. I didn’t leave work during my maternity leave, I left before I got pregnant. Because I have suffered with the curse of failed pregnancies and knew how much time I would have to put into my prenatal care and being completely unstressed, this was the best option for me.
Once my baby was born there was no way I could leave him. I kept telling my husband that I would return to work once I finished my degree, but once I did, I still couldn’t bare it. The thought of leaving Jayden with strangers haunted me, not to mention how much it would cost to put him in daycare. I would pretty much be working just to pay for that so it didn’t make sense.
When Jayden reached sixteen months old I finally decided that I would find a job and jump in with both feet. Once I landed a job I went on a two-week bender of touring childcare centers trying to find the perfect one for my perfect little one. Finally, I came to one that was reasonably priced and seemed like a good fit for us.
So, what happened? For the first week, I would work I decided to leave Jayden with my sister so he could get used to being without me and then I would start him at daycare. Only, I didn’t last that long. I worked a total of four days before giving in to my emotional roller coaster and was back at home with my baby. Crazy, right?
It’s more than crazy. I love my baby to death as does any mom, but what do I do after being out of work for so long? I noticed that it became harder and harder to find a job, and even though I’m in a graduate program, jobs just aren’t biting. The ones that are don’t pay nearly enough to survive. That’s when I turned to working from home.
I have been searching and searching for a work from home job, and even though there are some out there, the hours I need to be concentrating I have a toddler screaming his head off. How can I make it work?
My husband and I are cutting pennies in half to make ends meet at this point and I don’t see it getting any easier. This is what you need to prepare yourself for. There are months that some bills don’t get paid and we are constantly moving things around so we can get by. It’s not a pretty picture.
If I had to make a change I probably wouldn’t because I love being home with my little guy, but you need to know what you are getting yourself into and how hard it will be. There are no date nights, no vacations, no leisure activities, no extra. We have just enough to barely get by financially and it has taken a major toll on our marriage.
Only You Can Decide
If you have a hefty savings account and you think you can take off a year or two, by all means, do what you need to, but if you don’t, prepare yourself for a long ride.
The smartest thing you could do for yourself and your family is to go back to work and dedicate you at home time to your little one. I’m hoping that by the time Jayden turns two I will be able to find a decent job because life is hard and now I think he’s at the age where he needs to go to daycare to learn how to socialize with other kids his own age.
When I was researching this topic, there were a lot of mixed views on it. There were moms that left work and were happy that they could be home raising their children in spite of how hard things were, but there were also moms who were happy they didn’t succumb to their feelings and quit because it would have made their lives harder.
No decision is going to be the right one for everyone, this is something that you need to decide for yourself, but if you are aware of the outcome and have time to prepare then it’s better for you to know now instead of later. If you are still pregnant then you have time and can start saving for the time you will be out of work, and if you’ve already given birth, maybe another way is just to work part-time until you feel completely ready to return to work full time.
Either way, whatever you decide will be the best option for you and your baby. But don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Before you make a decision, please take a look at this book. It could really help you to come to what is the best decision for you and your family. I don’t want this post to be too long so I won’t go into detail about it, but I will tell you, Lauren is genius with this book. It’s resourceful and has advice from hundreds of moms who went through the exact same thing.
Did you decide to leave work while out on maternity leave? If so, what was your outcome? I would love to hear more about your experience and I’m sure other moms would too. Please leave your comments below. Thanks for reading my latest post.